Growing Up is Overrated || My Thoughts About . . . Growing Up

i have four weeks left of high school
four more weeks with my friends, my routines, my life
four weeks until i go off into the Great Big World to seek my fortune, like stories say
i’ll get presented with a piece of paper that says i’m certified to do Life™
and i’m expected to break ties and forge new ones

it hurts.
i’ve been in the same routine for four years, maybe more
a part of me is straining at the bonds, waiting to see what will happen
the rest of me is willing time to move more slowly
willing myself to be more present, to take it all in
these last moments are to be treasured
hide them away
i need to store them as the memories come
i wish i could experience them fully
but i can’t thanks, derealization

i write but the memories fade
warped through the lens of time
what’s real and what did i think up

their lives will be the same
everyone moves up a grade
new band pieces will be chosen
new science olympiad events will be assigned
new cubbies kids will join
but i won’t be there
i’ll be with a couple thousand other kids who also don’t know what they’re doing
trapped on five square miles for four straight years

my friends will make new friends
adjust to life without me
i’m sure i’ll make friends too
but there’s no going back

back to the days in the band room
“running through” pieces “just one more time”
back to the days in the old church
looking at event pairings on the too-bright projector
back to the study days
rocks, powders, writing, talking, laughing
back to the kitchen counter
supergluing impossibly small pieces together
back to the church foyer days
waiting with bated breath to see fragile forms fly
back to the church basement
loving on kids that are much too small
back to the farm
giving presentations and eating snacks and talking about band

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there’s no going back
and it hurts.
tears are shed
so many tears
tears for the unknown
tears for the known
tears for the people
tears for the memories
tears for the love

it doesn’t feel like i’ve been doing the same thing for five years
but it has been
monday- science olympiad
tuesday- band
wednesday- awana
thursday- class
friday- more science olympiad
just as i was getting good at how it works
and it’s time to go.

growing up is overrated
people always talk about ‘when you go to college’ as if college is some glorious, magical place where everything is made right
i’ve spent the last four years of my life getting ready
internships, resumes, extracurriculars
standardized tests, advanced classes, opportunities
my list of accomplishments

but it doesn’t include the hours curled up on the couch with your friends
it doesn’t count the moments where it’s just you and your friends, when nothing else exists
none of these count, in the Big Picture™ of life
but those are the ones that matter

growing up is exciting
and beautiful
and challenging
but it also sucks
growing up is overrated.


P.S. a song that came to mind, not really related, but i thought i’d share

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to my writer friends || my thoughts about…writers

here is a moment of appreciation for authors and writers.

to my writer friends

those young 10, 11, 12, 13 year olds learning to use their voice. learning to how to type. looking towards older writers to see how to DO this. reading voraciously to satisfy their needs. probably writing retellings that aren’t so loosely based on their favorite books.

those finally seeing the scribblings of their younger selves come to some fruition. those realizing the foundation that the stapled pages of lined paper laid. those starting to sort through the emotions of growing up. and those who write, just because they have to, and they want to, and they love to.

those who finally embrace their love of writing. those who write after their school work is done. those who just read, and read, and read, then think, and write. those who finally start to build up pages of writing. and hundreds and thousands of words. those who have finally hit a flow in their writing.

those who write even though it’s hard. those who force themselves to sit at a keyboard and just. type. those who write even when they don’t feel like it. those who spend endLESS hours at a keyboard, trying to figure out the plotholes. and the words. and the characters. those who write, just because they have to, and they want to, and they love to.

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those to whom ideas come like water from a tap. those to whom ideas come rarely, but strongly when they do. those who spend endless hours on pinterest “plotting,” fleshing out their characters and worlds and plots and storylines. those who keep a notebook by their bedside, of all the ideas that come to them while floating in the subconscious ether.

those whose words flow from their fingertips and energize them. those whose words come, but not without thought. those who pour their soul into their writing and walk away from their keyboard drained. but a good drained. those who write, just because they have to, and they want to, and they love to. 

those who spend hours upon hours figuring out how to make storylines flow together. those who plan sequels, and trilogies, and entire series. those who WRITE these sequels and trilogies and series. those who write fan fiction, flash fiction, novels, novellas, short stories. those who write. anything.

those who shout with their voice into the void of The World™️ about valuable truths about God, and about life, and themselves. those who take their words and their time and use it powerfully. those who write, just because they have to, and they want to, and they love to. 

those who guzzle coffee, or tea, by the gallon. those who force weary eyes to stay awake, who force tired fingers to keep typing, because the words need to come out. those whose computer desktops are covered in files, full of their writing. serious and otherwise. those who google things, such as ‘the fastest way to kill someone’ or ‘how to hide a decomposing body quickly’ or ‘the weather of some obscure village in Russia on exactly October 24th, 1905.’ those who set aside their own reading pleasure to do research.

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those who push through burnouts. those who set deadlines. those who dissolve in tears at the mere thought of writing another yet another query letter, or another synopsis. those who would rather do ANYTHING else than have to talk to another company about their own art. those who write, just because they have to, and they want to, and they love to. 

those who don’t know if they really, REALLY, are cut out for this. those who look at all of the OTHER writers in the world, and wonder if they read their gut right. those who feel like their experience isn’t worth anything, that someone in this vast world must have had more experience than they did.

those who have spent countless hours getting their book ready to be published. those who have pounded their keyboard in frustration, unable to edit that sentence *just right*. those who fight for themselves and their voice, before their voice can be released to shout for itself. but in the end, those who write, just because they have to, and they want to, and they love to. 

i see you. we see you. those of us who aren’t writers, we see you. and we applaud you. thank you for what you do. we admire your determination and your persistence. what other craft requires this amount of sheer DEDICATION and attempts before it’s finally successful.

thank you, for what you do. thank you, for putting your voice out into the world. thank you, for even if you haven’t been published yet, to have been SO DEDICATED to a craft to be willing to spend your time, so much of your time, on it. thank you. as a nonwriter who is friends with many, many writers and authors, i can’t relate to you when you talk about your wordcounts, or your struggles, or the endless battle of writing a query, but I SEE YOU. even if you aren’t published, we see you. and we appreciate you. love you guys. ❤


(also!!! if literally NONE of these things apply to you, don’t feel discouraged!! That doesn’t make you ANY less valid of a writer! these are just things I’ve seen from my friends!)

Instagram is TOO AESTHETIC || How to Do a Social Media Purge || My Thoughts About . . . Social Media

Hi!! Today, we’re talking . . . social media.

Instagram is TOO AESTHETIC

Now this isn’t the typical “Instagram is the highlight roll, don’t compare it to your bloopers” rant, even though it is important too. What I’m here to say is, you don’t have to care so much about your social media because PEOPLE DON’T ACTUALLY CARE.

Recently, I’ve been more attached to social media than usual (which is saying a lot #oops), and so I’ve been trying to actively cut back on the time I spend using it. I’m still in the process of figuring out what I can do to not waste my entire life on social media, but I’m actively avoiding social media for the time being.

I went on a social media purging spree the other day, and I went through my Instagram and Twitter and unfollowed all the people that I really didn’t need to follow. Some examples were-

  • people from a follow-for-follow type of deal. Unless I really LOVE their content, there isn’t a need to keep following them. (Disclaimer: I don’t actively participate in follow-for-follow or follow-chains or whatever else there is; I’m talking here about the people who follow you and you follow back for ‘politeness’ purposes.)
  • pages you follow multiple of. Do you really need to be following 6 kitten pages and 4 puppy pages? Cutting back to 1 or 2 would get you your animal fix, while taking down the number of pages you follow, and thus the number of posts you see!
  • inspiration pages. How many (if you’re like me) bullet journal pages are you following? How many of pretty notes? How many of aesthetic-minimalistic lifestyles? How many of insane photography? Pick your favorite, and unfollow all the rest. If you’re like me, you’re following these pages for your own photos and for inspiration. How many of these pages post things that you won’t ever, EVER accomplish? Unfollow them! The only thing they’re doing is reminding you how you’re not aesthetic enough.
  • celebrities. Do you still need to be following that YouTuber that you stopped watching two years ago? Do you REALLY need to be Keeping Up With The Kardashians? They COULD NOT CARE LESS about you, so why are you caring?
  • laziness. How many pages are you still following, simply because you’re too lazy to tap into their profile and unfollow them? UNFOLLOW THEM NOW.

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  • vague acquaintances. Do you need to be following that girl you passed in the hallway once a week in high school? Do you need to be following your teacher’s daughter? Do you need to be following that person who you’ve just seen vaguely around but have never actually talked to? They don’t know you, they don’t care about you; do yourself a favor and unfollow them.
  • old blogger friends. This makes me sound TERRIBLE, but really. They’ve moved on with their lives, and you’ve moved on from yours. Do you really need to be following them? This is, again, more of the ‘acquaintance’ type, the type you were following because of their blog but you don’t actually read their blog.
  • bloggers that don’t fit your niche. This is kind of related to the “follow chains” type, but these are the people who you stumbled across a couple times and followed. They aren’t posting things you care about, you don’t care about what they’re posting, just unfollow them!
  • nice people whose blogs you read but whose content you don’t care for. There is no written rule that you MUST follow the social media of whoever’s blog you read! If you LOVE someone’s blog, but don’t like their social media, DON’T FOLLOW THEM. NO ONE CARES IF YOU DON’T FOLLOW THEM.

Overall, it’s just that PEOPLE DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA AS MUCH AS YOU THINK. I have to keep reminding myself of this, but do you know how much time you could save if you didn’t care what people cared about on social media?

What are some ways you force yourself to not spend so much time on social media? Have you gone on a purging spree recently? I HIGHLY recommend it: it SAVES LIVES.

Rant: Friends, and How Society™ Portrays Friends || My Thoughts on Boys and Friends, and Society

As I’m going into my senior year and am turning 18 on my next birthday, I feel like I’m qualified to give friends/boys/society advice now. *insert eyeroll*

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I’ve been thinking about making a post completely dumping out all my thoughts for this topic, because it’s been a rather controversial thing that’s happened over my entire high school career, you could say. (Once you read the post, you’ll know why)

I actually made a twitter thread about this, that I’m using as my basis for this whole post, because IT’S IMPORTANT. IT’S SO IMPORTANT.

My best friend is a guy. (At least, one out of 3 of them is). We met when I was in 8th grade and he was in 7th grade. We go to the same church, so naturally I had been aware of him since before then, but we had never really talked.

And then my 8th grade year, I started doing science olympiad and band, which were both things he also did, and we became super close really quickly.

By my 9th grade year, we were using google hangouts with each other (large steps of technology for us homeschoolers 😂) And leT ME JUST SAY, once you start talking to me on Google Hangouts, there is no going back. I show what I think is my best side but what is probably my worst side on there.

At any rate, he is now one of my closest friends.

And beCAUSE my best friend is a guy, I really haven’t had any crushes (to talk about) throughout middle or high school. Yes, we do love each other, but it’s completely platonic. We both have other friends of the opposite gender, and we’re not limiting ourselves to each other.

And trust me, I’ve heard my share of crap about this friendship, mainly from girl friends (who are too eager to pair you with someone) and moms. (Once I overheard a church mom say to his mom regarding us: “if they fight like that now, just wait until they’re married”)

Growing up in a Christian community, I’ve heard my share of “your best friend should be the same gender so you can relate” stuff. And this is where I have an issue with Society™*. The World™ says “get yourself a boy/girlfriend as early as possible, date as much as you can, breakups are normal, so are crushes. if you feel like doing THE THING™ at age 16? GO FOR IT. WHY NOT. LIFE IS SHORT.” On the other hand, the church/Christian community says “Don’t have too close of friends with people of the opposite gender.”
*Society™ is defined as what The World™ and The Church™, or PEOPLE in general think

But honestly? I’m glad that my friend is a guy. I’m also glad I don’t have a boyfriend. I’m glad I don’t have to deal with cheating boyfriends, or breakups, or any of that crap. I’m also glad I have a good standard to measure other guys by when I start dating.

Because trust me, if I’m dating someone (eventually) who doesn’t listen to me rant at 1am about life? He’s not staying. If I’m dating someone who doesn’t say “go ahead, rant. I’ll listen,” you can bet YOUR TOES it’s probably not going to last. (Though how I’d have gotten INTO aforementioned hypothetical relationship I really do not know).

If my future boyfriend doesn’t respect what I want, pray for me when I ask for them, give me the pressure on the important things, and in general just CARE, he’s likely as not going to BE my boyfriend.

Because of this friendship, I’ve not had the need to have boys “notice” me all throughout my middle/high school years, and that’s THE BEST. And wow, I’m so glad I didn’t spend time crushing left and right, because that’s JUST WEIRD. (#youknowyourehomeschooled)

And wow, I’m so grateful for HIM™, who has literally coached me through awkward social sitiations and girl friend issues (because, guys, MINDBLOWER: GIRLS ARE HARD TO FIGURE OUT. THE DRAMA IS REAL. it doesn’t help that I’m the most socially awkward extrovert on earth)

I’m breaking all societal norms/expectations, and I 100% think this is THE best path for me. It may not be *THE BEST* path, nor is it *THE* path that everyone should take, but this is the one I’ve taken, and I’m completely happy with it.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying to ditch all your girl best friends and to find a best boy friend. Neither am I saying that EVERY girl must have a guy best friend that’s NOT their boyfriend. I just want to point out that IT IS POSSIBLE TO HAVE A GUY BEST FRIEND WHO’S NOT YOUR BOYFRIEND WHO YOU LOVE PLATONICALLY AND ITS ACTUALLY THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS.

Talk to me! What are your perspectives on this? My perspective on this is probably different from other peoples’, both in the Church™ and the World™, and Society™ in general.

But Is It Love? || A Poem ||My Thoughts About…Love

I came up with this some time ago, but thought it would be a good time to post this now, sort of as a Valentine’s Day post.

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But Is It Love?

We think we know all about love

We see it everywhere: in movies, in books, in magazines

But do we really know love?

Never too busy to talk

…but is it love?

Living lives together together

…but is it love?

Growing together

…but is it love?

Working together

…but is it love?

Sharing futures, dreams, goals

…but is it love?

Supporting each other

…but is it love?

Understanding each other

…but is it love?

Laughing together, crying together

…but is it love?

Saying “I love you”

…but is it love?

The pounding in one’s heart

…but is it love?

Love is in the air, this time of year

But what is love?

I wish I knew.

I wish life wasn’t complicated.
I wish I didn’t wish for love.
I wish I knew the way.
But there is love.
The love that comes from the Father
Pure, unfailing, unconditional love.

But is it love?
I can stop worrying. I can stop wishing. I can stop dreaming.
For I know love.

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God! ~1 John 3:1


Ava Bright Lee || My Thoughts About . . . A Lot of Things, Really

This not a post that I usually write, but I’ve been feeling like I need to write this post for some time now. I feel completely inadequate, but I’ll do my best.

It is a story. One that needs to be told.

A story of faith. A story of grace. A story of love.

A story of fighting the good fight and of finishing the race.

And ultimately, it is a story that points back to God.

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I heard about this story a few months ago through a prayer chain. It was our pastor’s friend’s daughter.

She was fighting a rare form of leukemia-both AML and ALL, combined.

There was a link to their blog, and I sat down one day and read it in four hours. (It’s here)

Ava Bright Lee. She was 4 years old when her mom brought her to the hospital, due to an infection. There the doctors found the cancer.

She endured interminable  rounds of chemo, innumerate infections, a bone marrow transplant, clinical trials, the works. Some of it worked . . . for a while.

Esther, Ava’s mother, had wanted to be an English major in college. Although she didn’t, the reason was quickly apparent. She was a writer.

Although she was so often physically, mentally, and physically drained, she fought for Ava. She comforted Ava. She looked for options. And she wrote.

Pages and pages of heartfelt anguish, grief, yes, but also faith. It was through this writing that Ava’s supporters connected. And prayed. And were strengthened.

Ava herself was a girl with wisdom far beyond her years. She comforted her parents. She spoke to her supporters. She held on.

During the midst of indescribable agony, her song was ever “My one defense, my righteousness, oh God, how I need You”.

Treatment after treatment, Ava hung on. Some worked, some didn’t, but one day, there was nothing left.

They had wanted to take a family trip to Disneyworld for Christmas, but that became impossible.

During her last weeks, Ava sang in the Christmas program at the church where her father was the pastor. It was a beautiful little voice, the same one that had sung “When I cannot stand, I’ll fall on you; Jesus you’re my hope and stay”. A little more than a week later, that little voice would never be heard again.

As many people were welcoming in 2017, Ava was welcomed into the gates of heaven.

When I started following this story, it was just “something interesting” that I read, every once in a while.

What I could have never known was how much Ava’s story could change me.

I’m a high school student. Ava was a girl who never finished first grade. In theory, I know more than her. But that is not the case.

She, and her mom Esther, have shown me what faith looks like. (For instance, read this post Esther posted just recently about her feelings after Ava’s entrance into heaven.) What courage looks like. What agony looks like. And they have always pointed me back to Jesus.

I know I’ll never meet Ava on earth now. But I’ll meet her some day. I can’t wait.

Why? || Poem || Thoughts

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Why am I crying
Why is this so hard
Why am I so easily frustrated
Why can’t I do a simple task
Why?

Why do I even bother
Why do I strive to be the best
Why do I always fail
Why do I try
Why?

Why can I never be good enough
Why am I always mediocre
Why aren’t I actually really good at something
Why can’t I do something important
Why?

Why am I not like them
Why can’t I talk like them, write like them, act like them, look like them, sing like them, study like them
Why am I different
Why am I always the odd one out
Why?

Why don’t they text first
Why do I always appear so needy
Why can’t I wait for them to speak
Why am I so annoying
Why?

Why do I care when they don’t text back
Why can’t I understand they have other things to do
Why can’t I just wait
Why am I so afraid of being ignored
Why?

Why am I so proud
Why do I want people to notice me
Why do I need attention
Why am I always trying to show off
Why?

Why do I always want my way
Why am I so selfish
Why do I never look out for others
Why do I only care for me, me, and more me?
Why?

Why do I question myself
Why am I comparing myself
Why do I doubt myself
Why can’t I be satisfied with the way I am
Why?

Why do I doubt my faith
Why do I doubt myself
Why do I doubt my importance
Why don’t I know all the answers
Why?

Why.

One Nation, Under God || My Thoughts About The World We Live In

I’ve been thinking about doing this post for some time now, but I haven’t really gotten around to doing it. This morning, as I was working on my schoolwork with the radio on, I heard the Pledge of Allegiance. The particular radio station I was listening to invited schoolchildren to the recite the pledge, then would air it in the morning, so I heard the voices of children reciting our nation’s pledge.

Then I heard it. “One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

It struck me then: everyone still says the Pledge of Allegiance (well, except those football players who think they’re cool and don’t, but that’s rather beside the point). Most everyone says those two words from the Pledge of Allegiance: UNDER GOD.

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Under God.

That’s truly what this country is founded on: God. This country is slowly heading farther and farther away from what truly matters: God.

There are so many things I could say about this, but I’ll just say the two most important to me.

First, we need revival. I’ll be completely honest with you; I don’t know much about how revival works. But I do know, it takes GOD. The time is right. We can do this.

How?

We can pray. Pray hard. We can read the Bible. We can listen to what God is telling us. We can be open to what God wants us to do. We can spread the word. We all have mediums to share this on: FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter, our blogs, YouTube channels, everything.

I heard something in a podcast thing the other night, and the speaker said something about, “As Christians, we will be spared the Tribulation. But if there is no revival soon, the Tribulation WILL COME SOON.” That struck me hard. We will be spared the Tribulation. How many will not? How many will we save from the Tribulation? What can we do about this?

I read a post recently by Kara at Saved By Grace about revival. Check it out, it’s really great.


The next thing we can do to help our country (well, I guess this doesn’t really count as much, but it’s just as important) is to vote. Now, I’m not old enough to vote, and I’m assuming neither are many of my readers. Get your parents to vote, get your friends’ parents to vote, get your grandparents to vote. So many Christians are neglecting one of their privileges by not helping to choose who their country is run by.

Who to vote for? Now, that’s a good question. I’ve heard numerous times “Oh, I don’t know who to vote for. He’s a racist, sexist, male chauvinist pig; she’s a liar, murderess, and crooked politician. So I’d have to choose the lesser of two evils, and that’s just morally incorrect.”

In my mind, the choice is simple. My vote is for the one whose view on murder abortion is that, well, that it IS murder! Racist, sexist, bigmouth, yes, but also NOT a murderer.

That’s how I stand. If you disagree, go ahead and disagree, but I strongly encourage you to choose the say that does not involve murder.

Here are a few links of some others talking about why they are voting for Trump-

I hope this made some sense. I had originally thought to write a post about voting. Then I wanted to write one about revival. Then I got the Under God part, and I decided to write a combined post. But did this make sense? Don’t know…maybe I’ll make a part two, expounding or something.

Also, how did y’all like this post? It’s the first time I’ve done something of this sort, so I’m rather anxious to know what y’all think!

Thanks for reading!